Much is being made of today’s centenary birthday of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, known in life as Mother Teresa, and rightly so. As the first, and so far only, pastoral associate of the first parish dedicated to her after her beatification, I had already developed something of a devotion to this latest holy Teresa. Living within a stone’s throw of the Missionaries of Charity Roman HQ helps too!
The Lay Centre is of course in a section of the Passionist Retreat of John and Paul, their international general house, where today is already tomorrow and one of their own is honored on the calendar. Blessed Dominic Barberi is likely best known for his missionary work on the British Isles and for being the priest who received Bl. John Henry Newman into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Our director, Dr. Donna Orsuto, is on an around-the-globe lecture tour this summer, and discovered a timely quote from one of Newman’s letters that describes my home in Rome and the case of canonization for the Passionists’ founder, St. Paul of the Cross:
On November 15, 1846 to his friend Dalgairns, Newman writes:
“What do you think of Mr. Spencer having joined the Passionists? I am very glad for Father Dominic’s sake. We went to their House here [Rome] with Cardinal Acton. It is very clean and beautifully situated. We saw the various remains (dress etc) of Venerable Paul—They expect he will be canonized by the end of three years. Suppose we all become Passionists.”
From The Letters and Diary of John Henry Newman, volume XI, p. 274.
The world just keeps getting smaller!